Three-way stop at US-31/Stronach Road intersection in Manistee to be removed Nov. 1 ahead of winter weather

Contact: James Lake, MDOT Office of Communications, 906-250-0993
Agency: Transportation

Fast facts:
- MDOT installed a three-way stop at the US-31/Stronach Road intersection south of Manistee this summer to accommodate detour traffic as the M-55 Manistee River bridge is replaced.
- As traffic volumes increased on US-31 in the spring, drivers on Stronach Road were having difficulty finding gaps in traffic to safely turn onto the highway, leading to backups on Stronach Road. 
- As traffic volumes have declined for the season, and winter weather is approaching, MDOT will remove stop signs on US-31 and other traffic control devices in the intersection to accommodate snow plowing operations.

October 18, 2021 -- As the area is seeing seasonal declines in traffic on US-31 and approaching winter weather prompts concerns about plowing around traffic control devices, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will remove the three-way stop at the US-31/Stronach Road intersection in Manistee Nov. 1.

"We remain hard at work finishing our M-55 Manistee River bridge replacement project, but it seems likely that we'll need to begin plowing snow before the detour is lifted," said MDOT Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC) Manager Dan Wagner. "Now that traffic volumes have declined for the year, we can remove the stop signs for US-31 at Stronach Road and be ready to effectively maintain that intersection when the snow returns."

MDOT originally installed the three-way stop at the intersection when the bridge replacement project began in December 2020. After concerns about some drivers disobeying the stop signs were observed, the three-way stop was lifted.

As traffic volumes increased on US-31 in the spring, drivers on Stronach Road were having difficulty finding gaps in traffic to safely turn onto the highway, leading to backups on Stronach Road. The three-way stop was reinstated in mid-May 2021, with the addition of work zone barrels, temporary rumble strips leading up to the intersection, and additional caution signs.

MDOT is still working on the $10.3 million project to replace the 80-year-old M-55 bridge over the Manistee River, just west of Manistee. The bridge was originally expected to be reopened to traffic in mid- to late November, but delays due to utility relocations, weather, limited staffing, and material procurement issues will extend the expected reopening date.  Crews are diligently working but many of the remaining tasks will require favorable weather conditions to complete.

Crews are expected to pour the new concrete deck for the bridge over the next two weeks, as well as work on the new paved bridge approaches.